For your sake and others.
This morning, I saw an atheist post on social media that she had been verbally attacked by Christians who were enraged by her disbelief. I was disgusted that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ would be so abusive to someone who was lost. By proclaiming they were Christians then turning around and displaying very harsh and rude behavior, they are not leading others to His light, but portraying only darkness. It is ineffective and misleading of who a Christian is called to be and creating a stigma around our religion to others. Do not wear Christian clothes if your behavior, or even more your heart, is not in the right place.
Let’s take a look at the matter in scripture:
“In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.”
In this verse, Jesus sees a fig tree covered in leaves, a sign of a fruitful plant. However, upon coming closer, He saw that it was fruitless. He cursed the tree and no fruit would come from it again. Although the tree seemed to be producing good things, upon closer inspection, it had nothing good to offer. We, as Christians, must be careful that we are not claiming to the world on the outside what we are not producing on the inside. Do not show out your leaves if you have no fruit for you may never grow fruit again. If you are wearing the title of a Christian, but when inspected more closely are not sprouting fruitful things, then you may find yourselves unable to produce. Be watchful of the way you, as a child of God, appear to others. Especially non-believers.
Again, in verse Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus speaks on this. “”What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They (the Pharisees) said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.”
The Pharisees, who claimed to be holy, righteous men of God, and wore robes to display their holiness, answered correctly, but were too blind to see the parable was directed at them. The first son said he would not go into the vineyard and work, but later changed his mind and went. The second promised he would, but did not. This is similar to the Pharisees promising that they are loving and God-fearing, but not living as such. And although the first son denied working, he repented and did the work, anyway. Be careful that you are not putting on display what you are not experiencing in your heart. And if you are, repent and go to work! God wants the first sons working in his vineyard. He wants the fruitful trees in His garden. Do not just dress in robes of righteousness, but live the life Christ has called you to live so as to show the world what a true child of God is like.
Remember to catch our series, A Piece of Faith! Read Part 1, The Lord’s Example here.